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Pakistan Cyber Force
What do the generals want? The Pakistan Army, like all other institutions, is a pyramid. But the Pakistan Army, unlike any other Pakistani institution, is the only Pakistani institution where soldiers rise from within to become commanding generals purely on the basis of merit. This military pyramid rests on two pillars: respect for the chain of command and the confidence of Pakistanis in their armed forces.
As of right now, Pakistan Army’s two serving generals, 22 serving lieutenant generals, 150 serving major generals for a total of 620,000 Pakistani soldiers are in a state of war. This is the longest – and the bloodiest – war that the Pakistan Army has ever fought. This war has multiple fronts – Tirah Valley, Shawal Valley, Wana, Miranshah, Mir Ali, Swat, Sararogha, Bajaur, Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram. This is a war where the distinction between a combatant and a non-combatant is blurring. This is a war where the distinction between a soldier and a civilian is blurring – even the distinction between war and politics is blurring. This war truly has all the characteristics of a 4G war.
Then there’s India with its ‘cold start military doctrine’. Then there’s the Indian army with its ‘Order of battle’, whereby at least half of all Indian army corps are stationed within a striking distance from the Pakistan-India border. The Indian army’s XV Corps with two infantry divisions in Srinagar, XIV Corps in Leh, XVI Corps with three infantry divisions, an artillery brigade and an armoured brigade in Nagrota, X Corps in Bhatinda, XI Corps in Jalandhar, IX Corps in Yol and II Corps in Ambala.
Remember, generals around the world respond to ‘capacity’ not ‘intent’. Pakistani generals look at the Indian Army and see its inventory of 6,384 tanks as a threat (since none of those Arjun MBTs can cross the Himalayas into China, they must all be for Pakistan).
Pakistani generals look at the Indian Air Force and see its inventory of 672 combat aircraft as a threat. Pakistani generals look at the Indian Army and find that XV, IX, XVI, XIV, XI, X and II Corps all pointing their guns at Pakistan. The Pakistani generals look at India’s 4th Armoured Division, 12th Infantry Division, 340th Mechanised Brigade and the 4th Armoured Brigade deployed to cut Pakistan into two halves.
As of right now, the Pakistan Army is fighting a deadly 4G war within and must, at the same time, stand prepared to defend Pakistan from the 3G threat from the east. In essence, the Pakistan Army is fighting at three different levels – physical, mental and moral. To be certain, the Pakistan Army cannot win on the physical battlefield unless it also wins the mental combat, the ‘will to fight’ and the ‘belief in victory’.
So, what do the serving generals want? The same thing that any serving general in a state of war would want – support from all other pillars of the state. So, what do the Pakistani generals need to guarantee the longevity of the Pakistani state? The same thing that any serving general in a state of war needs – esprit de corps, sense of unity, commonality of interests plus chain of command and the confidence of the public on the military.
As of right now, one retired general, five retired lieutenant generals and two retired major generals are on trial – both in the courts of the law and the media. What do the retired generals want? They don’t want to be convicted – either by the courts or by the media. Well, there shouldn’t even be any debate on this count – anyone who breaks the law must be held responsible and punished.
By Dr. Farrukh Saleem
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: email@example.com